The alcohol industry, neo-liberalism and the political economy of health

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Ward, Paul Russell
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Australasian Medical Journal
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Writing in the Australasian Medical Journal Bond, Daube, & Chikritzhs present a fascinating analysis of previously confidential, internal industry documents. The documents became available due to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which was originally initiated to allow public access to internal tobacco industry documents, but since some alcohol companies are controlled by tobacco companies (in this case, Phillip Morris), the internal documents of the alcohol companies (in this case, Miller Brewing Company) became available. It is also interesting to note that Kraft foods is also controlled by Phillip Morris, which means that researchers interested in food policy, marketing and regulation can now access potentially useful documentation on the underlying intentions of a particular food company. The paper presented an analysis of a vast array of alcohol industry documents, and the authors discuss a number of key areas with which the alcohol industry stated their concerns. Within this Editorial, I wish to highlight the implications of many of these concerns within two areas of social and political thought: the political economy of health, and the impact of neo-liberalism.
Public health, Politics
Ward, P.R., 2009. The alcohol industry, neo-liberalism and the political economy of health. Australasian Medical Journal, 2(3), 1-6.